NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - When Nashville’s John Guider takes his little boat out and puts it into the water, he’s not going on a pleasure trip.

History and reality are what he’s found paddling more than 10,000 miles across America.

His camera captures the images, his courage does the rest as he’s traveled 10,000 miles on the nation’s rivers, always paddling in small vessels, motorless boats.

“It’s my love of nature and desire to grow as a human being,” Guider said. “I don’t want fear to be a deciding factor in my life.”

It’s hard to do when this is your “fun” hobby.

“I’ve been attacked by an alligator eight feet long. He tried to get on my boat, but fortunately it fell off,” Guider said.

Sharks along the gulf, tornadoes and electrical storms too balanced by the beauty, but bundled up for the cold.

There have been multiple trips over 17 years, Minnesota to New Orleans, the Great Loop, Nashville to Florida to Key West up to New York and the Hudson, back through the Great Lakes and Chicago.

“And my view is of nature from the river looking up in wonder as opposed to walking the banks,” Guider said.

He’s 72 and not done.

“I can’t wait to get back. There are other things I want to do,” Guider said.

Guider’s pictures will be on exhibit on Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at 200 S. Second St. in Clarksville. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Feature Reporter

Terry Bulger has been bringing you stories of the people and places that make Tennessee unique and interesting on News4 since 1990. Contact Terry if you have an interesting community story for him to cover.

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